Page 1 News
  Page 2 News
  Classified Ads
  People Search
  TV Guide

WND Commentary
He lives what he believes

By Claire Wolfe
© 1999 Claire Wolfe

There are precious few people who have the courage to live what they believe. One of those rare heroes is Scott McDonald.

Scott is Web master and co-creator of Fight the Fingerprint. He also operates Scan This News -- an e-mail service that reports on efforts to impose various citizen ID and tracking systems. Last week, when the U.S. General Accounting Office issued its report on the growing use (misuse) of Social Security numbers, Scott was there with news, analysis and links to documents.

Even more important, Scott and his family live their principles even when it puts them at risk. They refuse to accept universal government ID. Scott's twin sons have been denied drivers licenses in Alabama because they have no Social Security numbers. Scott himself lost his 15-year-old homebuilding business because he refused to offer a Universal Citizen ID Number when renewing his contractor's license. He and constitutionalist attorney Larry Becraft are now fighting the state -- and fighting for everyone who believes that government efforts to track and control all individuals are the literal or figurative road to Hell.

Scott operates with the conviction of his Christian beliefs, the passion of his nature, and the cool-headed logic of a self-taught researcher. He lives a long way from Hardyville, but he was very close to my heart this week when he talked by phone about his mission:


How did you get into this battle?

About twenty years ago, my wife (then my fiancee) was a legal secretary. A gentleman named Larry Becraft was one of the partners in the firm. He used to talk to me, and I found some of what he said hard to believe. I jokingly called him Larry Spacecraft because I thought he was so far out. He gave me some books, in particular one called When Your Money Fails by Mary Stewart Relfe, Ph.D. She projected that we were going to a cashless society, with all finances run through computers, and with Social Security numbers used to track all transactions.

(Note: Relfe has since written a followup book, New Money System.)

I found this hard to believe at first, too. But then I realized that people were asking for my Social Security number everywhere I went, and that many of her predictions had already come true. When I read the books Larry gave me I realized there was a big problem. Then much later I read your article, "Land-Mine Legislation," about how so many ID and tracking laws are being enacted in secret -- and I decided I was going to do all I could to correct the problem.

We are right now going through a political and social transition at least the equivalent of the Civil War, if not the American Revolution. New technology gives new tools of power to governments. Whoever comes out in control of this technology will control the world's economy and social structure. It'll either be the people who have control, through anonymous access to the Internet, anonymous commerce and banking, or else it'll be the government. What happens to commerce will determine all other aspects of the social structure.

But the government justifies universal ID and tracking on the basis of combating international terrorism, money laundering and ID fraud. What do you say to that?

The ideal situation to combat terrorism, from a government's point of view, would be to come right out and say you're establishing a police state. We'll monitor and control everything you do, and if you're not doing anything we consider wrong, you'll be in no trouble. But is that the America we're pretending to perpetuate when we elect representatives and so on? In reality, without admitting they're creating a police state, they're legislating a new kind of America that's not in the Constitution.

And these laws are self-perpetuating. The more we depend on supplying information in order to get loans, get credit cards or buy a house, who you are becomes critical to what you can and cannot do. As technology is used to maintain these financial/ID databases, the opportunity to abuse the databases grows, and more laws have to be put in place, supposedly to control the information. But that controls innocent people.

Why do you feel the need to educate others, and not just to fight this yourself?

I was sort of a rebel in school. My father knew that I didn't like certain regulations, and he'd say, "You're not going to change the world." But I'm still trying. There's a principle of right and wrong, and this principle of doing what's right motivates me every day. When I see this deception in our government and I know what's wrong, there's no way I could stop myself from trying to educate people about it.

How are your sons handling being unable to drive?

My sons, who I admire greatly, are wonderful. We're way out in the country where there are lots of things to do without driving. Chris and Nathan are best friends. They entertain each other. The fact that they and our daughters are homeschooled makes all the difference in the world, too.

How did you feel when you knew you were facing the loss of your contractor's license and your livelihood?

It was a very tough decision to know I'd be giving up my business for a matter of principle. All I'd have had to do was write my Social Security number on that application. I'd already paid my money (which, by the way, they've never returned).

But you know what bothered me most, in both cases, was the hypocrisy. When my sons couldn't get their licenses, and we fought it, finally they were willing to go to a word processor and have some underling type up a document for us to sign, making us exempt from the law. They just said, "We'll go along with this. We'll fix this for you if you'll quit raising a fuss." We refused to sign.

And Hulan Smith, Chief of the Building Inspection Department for the City of Huntsville, sat on the state board that three times refused to give me my contractor's license due to my refusal to provide a Social Security number. Hulan is responsible for administering the city building license program. The same law that requires me to have an SSN for my state contractor's license also says cities have to require SSNs for their licenses. But when I asked if he was going to enforce this on his local buddies, he said, "No, we're not going to enforce that here."

Laws should not be enacted unless they're going to be enforced. They should be enforced uniformly and fairly. And if they're not going to be, they shouldn't be passed. Agreements like the one they offered my sons are designed to quiet down the squeaky wheels until after their agenda is in place.

We've gotten where we are today because people won't stand on principle. They may complain about things, but they won't do anything.

What do you think of Congressman Ron Paul's effort (HR220) to limit use of Social Security numbers and keep the federal government from creating universal ID standards?

I admire him for trying. If all our representatives were like him, we'd do okay. But they're not. And as long as people are thinking their congressman is going to do things for them, that someone else is going to take care of them, there's no hope. Only when people go down to their own local licensing agency and say, "I'm not going to give you my Social Security number," or go to the bank and say, "I'm not going to give you my fingerprint," will we have any chance.

Who do you think is going to win the battle for control of information?

The government. This is an international effort, directed by the G7 nations. President Clinton goes to these meetings that determine global policy, but our representatives aren't even briefed on them. It's all done so quietly it's hard to combat.

Do you see any hope for freedom?

The only hope I see is in the Y2K catastrophe. If there's sufficient panic and sufficient numbers of people pull their money out of banks, the veil will have been lifted off the fraud that's been perpetrated upon the American people. The money system will collapse because there's nothing behind it. Social Security will collapse. Then hopefully, the people will fix the problem.

I have a greater fear that there's going to be no Y2K catastrophe than that there will be one. What are people going to say if there's no catastrophe? "Technology is a god in itself. It can do anything."

On the other hand, I'm very encouraged by the response to this Know Your Customer proposal. I'm encouraged by the opposition to these drivers license photo sales. I'm encouraged by opposition to the national ID. The Fight the Fingerprint Web page is about to turn over 100,000 visitors. That's nothing compared to WorldNetDaily, but for a little country-run site, it's a lot. As more people get fed up with these stupid restrictions -- as they go down and find out they have to give a number just to get a hunting license -- there's hope that they might change things.

You remember, Clinton recently honored Rosa Parks for making a difference in the civil rights fight. And she did. But what did Rosa Parks do? She resisted the law. One ordinary working woman resisted a bad law and things started to change.

To subscribe to Scott McDonald's Scan This News, send a message to, and type subscribe scan in the body of the message.

   E-mail to a Friend        Printer-friendly version

March 14 possible date of planned terror attack
War starts March 18, claims Israeli official
Air Force tests 'monster bomb'
Congressman: Jews pushing war
Sheik joins rabbi's condemnation of Arafat
'Gestapo' tactics at anti-war rally?
Police watch as 9-11 memorial trashed

FBI for systematic cover-up of terrorism
By Joseph Farah
Mexico: The weasel next door
By Michelle Malkin
Congress' insidious discrimination
By Walter Williams



© 1999, Inc.
Contact WND
Co-Located at Fiber Internet Center